" "Let us make up for lost time. Let us give to God the time that remains to us." — St. Alphonsus Liguori

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Revisiting "Zeal For The Salvation of Souls"

When I asked rhetorically just a few days ago, “What happened to the zeal for the salvation of souls?” I was not intending to revisit that issue so quickly despite the fact that I and every one else reading this blog are sinners. Several recent experiences dictate that I do so.

In 1946, Pope Pius XII warned us that “The sin of the century is the loss of the sense of sin.” Similar sentiments have been expressed by many, including Fulton J. Sheen, Blessed John Paul II and our current Pope. Their observations are verified by the simple and undisputed fact that relatively few Catholics go to confession anymore.

Current polling data suggests that Catholics are just as likely as their non-Catholic friends to support, among other things, cohabitation, contraception, embryonic stem cell research, human cloning, sex between unmarried men and women, and gay or lesbian relationships.

Yet the truth is that there is a hell and those who engage in or support any of these practices would objectively be in a state of mortal sin and subject to the loss of their immortal souls should they die unrepentant and without Sacramental confession.  

Moreover, the majority of those calling themselves Catholic do not attend Sunday Mass and a substantial majority of those that do, no longer believe in the Real Presence of Jesus Christ in the Sacred Eucharist or in the existence of hell.  Far too many Catholics reject these and other Truths of their Faith. Their eternal souls are in danger.
Years ago, the late Father Winfrid Herbst, S.D.S. clearly addressed the issue of sin and its eternal consequences when he reminded his readers, “After death comes the particular judgment; and with the judgment comes the sentence that can never be changed.  It will either be heaven or hell…There will be no appeal…”

When have you last heard any of these Truths preached in your parish? Today’s Gospel (Matthew 13:44-52) provided an ideal time to do so since verses 47 through 50 clearly speak to the eternal consequences of sin.  What a great oppotunity to discuss these Truths and to encourage regular use of the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Why then, I must ask, were parishes given the option of not reading those verses?

Were you blessed to hear these words of Scripture today? Did the homily address these Forgotten Truths?

Yes, Our God is a God of infinite Mercy. But He is also a God of Justice. Both of these Truths must be preached and understood.  When we speak of one, we should also discuss the other. "Now," St. Thomas Aquinas reminds us, "is the time of mercy; then, there will be only the time of justice. This is why we have to live in the present moment and transform it into the moment of God."

What happened at your parish today?
To be continued...

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